The Carroll County Tourism office won the Maryland Travel and Tourism Best Product award for its barn quilt trail at the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit this month.
Bonnie Staub, manager of the office, entered the barn quilt project in the competition for medium budget products — explaining that the trail takes visitors through rural parts of the county and state and celebrates Carroll’s history.
“What has made it particularly valuable locally is the participation from diverse groups and the opportunity to bring the tourism message to those folks, local citizens, and our local elected officials,” the office’s statement reads. “It is uniquely suited to Carroll County as it represents our agrarian history by including the local farmers and their barns It is ‘authentically’ connected to our rural past by representing the art of quilting.
“The Barn Quilt Trail has been an important product development for Carroll County,” the statement continues, “bringing together diverse groups in our community and drawing attention to the tourism industry. The trail enhances the visitor experience by providing art, history, and a scenic driving tour which weaves in and out of our small towns showcasing our Main Streets and their small businesses.”
There are 31 barn quilts on the trail, which is a collaborative effort between the Carroll County Arts Center, Carroll County Tourism office, local government agriculture specialist, Recreation and Parks Dept., Carroll County Public Library and 12 farm owners.
“This is the first time Carroll County won anything [from the Maryland Tourism Coalition],” Staub said at the Board of County Commissioners meeting Thursday morning.
As recently as this summer, additions have been made to spread awareness of the trail. Two large aluminum sculptures built by Manchester artist Charlie Maiorana, which are cubes with barn quilts depicted on each face, are located at both the Carroll County government offices and Carroll County Farm Museum.
Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, took time to thank Staub for her work at his last meeting before the new BOCC is seated next Tuesday.
“Bonnie, you do an extraordinary job,” Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, said. “You are everywhere, and not always in the traditional 9 to 5.
“You do an extraordinary job representing Carroll County very well,” he said.
Richard Weaver, commissioner for District 2, said he wasn’t sure about the sculptures at first, but that the confusion became amazement as he realized Maoirana and Staub’s vision.
“The floating cubes you have, I thought at first they were kind of strange,” he said. “But you really are on the cutting edge of advertising.
“Only the most elite cities are doing that kind of advertising,” he said.
More information on Carroll County’s barn quilt trail can be found on its website, www.carrollbarnquilts.com, including the list of quilts and their locations, a map, phone app, and contact information.Follow WebBandStand for everything that is cool that matters.